Native Shrublands


Coyote Brush and California Buckwheat in the Baldwin Hills with Eucalyptus in the background.


Prickly-pear Cactus in the Baldwin Hills

The Baldwin Hills encompass large portions of intact native shrubland, particularly on the western and eastern edges away from recreational use. These plants primarily fall into the coastal scrub association, which is characterized by low to medium growing shrubs adapted to summer drought conditions. Coastal scrub often includes plants from the sage family, but they are rare in the Baldwin Hills due to unique conditions in soil, topography, or perhaps as a result of air pollution. In the Baldwin Hills, the native scrub vegetation includes:

  • California Sagebrush (Artemisia californica)
  • Coastal Goldenbush (Isocoma menziesii var. vernonioides)
  • Coyote Brush (Baccharis pilularis)
  • Blue Elderberry (Sambucus nigra)
  • Giant Rye Grass (Elymus condensatus)
  • California Sunflower (Encelia californica)
  • Prickly-pear Cactus (Opuntia x occidentalis)
  • Mule Fat (Baccharis salicifolia)
  • Lemonade Berry (Rhus integrifolia)
  • California Buckwheat (Erigonum fasciculatum)

Native shrubland in the Baldwin Hills also include plants of the chaparral plant community, which are characterized by woodier stems, and leathery, often evergreen leaves. Chaparral plants in the Baldwin Hills include:

  • Toyon (Heteromeles arbutifolia)
  • Greenbark Ceanothus (Ceanothus spinosus)

Historically, the southern faces of the Baldwin Hills likely supported areas of native perennial grassland, which included bunchgrasses and annual wildflowers such as poppies and lupines. When native shrublands were cleared, exotic annual grasslands replaced these native perennial grassland areas.




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For more information:

  1. Vegetation of the Baldwin Hills – Longcore and Noujdina (2016)
  2. Weed Management Plan for the Baldwin Hills – Daniel S. Cooper (2012)
  3. Vegetation of the Baldwin Hills – Valerie Anderson (2001)
  4. Baldwin Hills Plant Life – Dave Marqua (1978)
  5. Baldwin Hills Community Standards District (2008 and ongoing)